May 28, 2009

We Mourn Not For Thee, Irvin The Magnificent, But For Us

irvin_the_magnificent_popsci.jpg

Holy Smokes, people. Put down the sandwich, stop your Twittering, step out of the meeting, and call your parents RIGHT NOW to demand to know why they didn't love you enough to buy you an Irvin the Magnificent.

Because though they apparently managed to keep you alive on all those cross-country roadtrips in the 70s, their inattention to Irvin the Magnificent's magnificence killed Irvin Industries' nascent car seat business before it even got going.

Could you just imagine the car seat nirvana we'd be living in now if Irvin the Magnificent had taken off? And I'm not even talking about the strap-on lap marshmallow concept; I just mean the name.

What kind of branding universe would be ours today if a venerable parachute and deceleration systems contractor had successfully expanded from the military to the baby industrial complex by selling a few million Irvin the Magnificents [Irvins The Magnificent?] each year?

Why, our computers would be named after fruits and our airlines would be named Ted. Think of our lost future and weep. On the other hand, looking at all these vintage rigs, I'm surprised the whiplash didn't paralyze us all.

Whoa, then there's this marketing angle you don't get from car seat makers anymore:

Some child-safety restraint devices are so good--better even than the protective devices available to grownups--that their manufacturers call them "orphan makers." They enable an increasing number of children to survive crashes fatal to their parents.
Also, Cosco was one of four seat makers to fail the NHTSA's first publicized car seat crash test. It's good to know some things never change.
"Safe or Unsafe? The Truth About Child Car Seats," Popular Science May 1972 [pop sci via google magazines, thanks dt reader dt]

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